The short story: We’ve written an extension to Numbas which adds a data type for handling quantities with associated units, and a custom part type which asks the student to enter a value with units. Read the rest
The programme for the E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) conference has been released, with speakers from across the globe presenting the latest developments in the field and offering a unique opportunity to get hands-on with maths e-assessment systems, whether you are a user, a developer, or just interested! The conference takes place over 3 days at Newcastle University, between 28th and 30th August. Read the rest
The workshops are a hands-on introduction to Numbas, including getting started on the Numbas mathcentre editor, selecting questions to make tests, and writing your own questions.
The workshops are free to attend and will include lunch. There are limited places available; if you would like to book a spot, please contact Chris Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org) before June 13th.
Today we’ve released Numbas v3.0. It’s the thing I’m second-most proud of producing in the last year (my daughter was born last October).
The marking code at the heart of Numbas has been completely rewritten, to make it much easier for question authors to change how students’ answers are marked. This has also allowed the introduction of custom part types, to make it easier to use and reuse different marking algorithms. Read the rest
The international conference on E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) is a three-day academic conference organised by Newcastle University taking place 28th – 30th August 2018.
Building on the success of EAMS 2016, the conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners with an interest in e-assessment for mathematics and the sciences, with an emphasis on enabling attendees to have a go at creating material, and getting an opportunity to share expertise directly. It will consist of a mix of presentations of new techniques, and pedagogic research, as well as live demos and workshops where you can get hands-on with leading e-assessment software.
Over three days, EAMS 2018 will comprise a mix of talks and hands-on activities:
Developer updates from the people responsible for popular mathematical e-assessment systems, detailing the latest features.
Lightning talks on a variety of topics to do with e-assessment in mathematical disciplines.
Hands-on workshops led by experts in a variety of e-assessment systems.
Live demos led by experts in the field.
Code sprints with the aim of adding features to systems, writing documentation, or creating material on a particular topic.
Compared to EAMS 2016, the emphasis this time is much more on enabling attendees to have a go at creating material, and getting an opportunity to share expertise directly.
The call for talk and workshop proposals is currently open. If you have some research or an innovative technique related to mathematical e-assessment that you would like to present, EAMS 2018 is the perfect venue. The deadline for talk proposals is May 31st.
The conference fee is only £75 and includes a conference dinner. You can find out more about EAMS, as well as the forms to register for the conference and propose a talk, at the conference website, eams.ncl.ac.uk.
During our project to create material for students making the transition to university, I did a bit of development work on Numbas based on issue that our interns raised. I’ll describe those here. Read the rest
This Summer we’ve supervised a group of student interns creating a bank of Numbas questions to support students making the transition from school to university. The genus of the project was the realisation that many degree courses around the university require a level of mathematical ability that students don’t expect when they apply, and might have lost in the years since GCSE. We aimed to create a bank of practice material that students can be directed to, following diagnostic tests or visits to our maths support service at the start of the academic year.
Bradley, Lauren, Stanislav, Aiden, Elliott and Hannah have done a sterling job, creating over 150 questions in six weeks, covering topics mainly at the English GCSE level (exams taken at age 16, and many students’ last encounter with formal maths). Read the rest
Bill Foster was director of the e-learning unit at Newcastle University until his retirement in 2016. In this post he tells the story of how Numbas came to be developed under his guidance.
Numbas is the latest in a long line of assessments systems: it is the spiritual successor at Newcastle to the i-assess assessment system which itself was based on the CALM system developed in the late 1980s.
In the following I will cover the implementation of CALM at Brunel University (1991/2), and at Newcastle University the implementation of i-assess (2006) followed by the development and implementation of Numbas (2012). Read the rest